“…Rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Colossians 2:7

You always hear the old saying, “you should be grateful for what you have!” My mom would always say that to me when I complained about something I didn’t have. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money and was jealous of the kids who were more well off or got the expensive clothes or shoes or the latest and greatest video games when I would get other peoples hand me downs.

Whether we grew up with much or little, it seems like gratitude is a lost virtue in our lives today. It always seems like we never have enough:  clothes,  time,  Instagram likes, or money… I’m sure we can all think of things we don’t have enough of.  Now I think we can all agree that being grateful seems like a good idea, but what does it really do for us?

In her book entitled “The How Of Happiness: getting the life you want” Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research found that being grateful had several benefits:

  1. Grateful people are more likely to be happy.
  2. Grateful people are more likely to be hopeful and energetic.
  3. Grateful people tend to display positive emotions more frequently than those who are not grateful
  4. Grateful people tend to be more spiritual, forgiving, and empathetic.
  5. Grateful people tend to be less depressed.

You can also check out this video from Soul Pancake about the power that gratitude can have on not only yourself but on those you express gratitude towards others.

God also wants us to live a life infused with gratitude

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)

Still not convinced? How about taking the next 30 days and going on a journey of gratitude. Start a gratitude journal, where you write down 10 new things that you are grateful for every day for the next 30 days. On top of that, make sure you express to at least one person a day what your are grateful for. Before you start, rate your overall happiness on a scale of 1-10 and then do it again after the 30 days and watch that score increases along with your smile.

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